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The American Dream is a Hollywood lie


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#601 Zharkov

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 05:22 PM

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These posts were not made, not ordered, or requested, authorized, approved, or wanted by any Russian official or civilian - I didn't create these news articles but posting them here is entirely my idea.    If you don't like it, don't look.


Edited by Zharkov, 17 January 2017 - 08:10 PM.

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#602 Zharkov

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 02:06 PM

China Fun shutters, blaming government over-regulation

 

chinafun.jpg Albert Wu, the son of China Fun’s owners, said the small business was impossible to maintain under a mountain of bureaucratic regulations. (Howard Simmons/New York Daily News)
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Saturday, January 7, 2017, 3:59 PM

For 25 years, China Fun was renowned for its peerless soup dumplings and piquant General Tso’s chicken.

What left a bad taste in the mouths of its owners and loyal patrons was the restaurant’s sudden Jan. 3 closing, blamed by management on suffocating government demands.

 

“The climate for small businesses like ours in New York have become such that it’s difficult to justify taking risks and running — nevermind starting — a legitimate mom-and-pop business,” read a letter posted by the owners in the restaurant’s front door.

 

“The state and municipal governments, with their punishing rules and regulations, seems to believe that we should be their cash machine to pay for all that ails us in society.”

 

 

The Second Ave. restaurant became a beloved local mainstay, with customers bemoaning its unexpected disappearance. The Daily News hailed the soup dumplings as the best on the Upper East Side in 2015.

 

“So sad to learn @ChinaFunNYC closed,” tweeted fitness blogger Amanda Lauren. “I grew up on the UES and it was my fav Chinese restaurant. Pouring out a green tea for you, China Fun.”

chinafun.jpg The restaurant’s interior is dismantled. (Howard Simmons/New York Daily News)

Albert Wu, whose parents Dorothea and Felix owned the eatery, said the endless paperwork and constant regulation that forced the shutdown accumulated over the years.

“When we started out in 1991, the lunch special was $4 a plate,” he recalled. “Now it’s $10, $12. The cost of doing business is just too onerous.”

 

Wu cited one regulation where the restaurant was required to provide an on-site break room for workers despite its limited space. And he blamed the amount of paperwork now required — an increasingly difficult task for a non-chain businesses.

 

“In a one-restaurant operation like ours, you’re spending more time on paperwork than you are trying to run your business,” he griped.

 

Increases in the minimum wage, health insurance and insurance added to a list of 10 issues provided by Wu. “And I haven’t even gone into the Health Department rules and regulations,” he added.

chinafun.jpg Neighbors read the surprise notice posted to the restaurant’s door. (Howard Simmons/New York Daily News)

The de Blasio administration noted the city provides free help to small businesses. The “Small Business First” initiative helps owners save time and money while reducing the amount of paperwork.

 

Free compliance advisors are available for on-sight consultation aimed at helping small businesses comply with regulations.

“The NYC Department of Small Business Services makes it easier for businesses to start, operate, and grow, including by helping businesses navigate important City regulations,” said spokesman Nick Benson.

 

But Adele Malpass, Manhattan Republican Party chairwoman, said the issues cited by the Wu family are common complaints.

 

“For smaller businesses like China Fun, each little thing that occurs makes it harder,” said Malpass. “Each regulation, each tax — you put it all together and it’s just a hostile business environment.”

 

http://www.nydailyne...ticle-1.2939156


Edited by Zharkov, 08 January 2017 - 02:53 PM.

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#603 Zharkov

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 02:15 PM

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When A New York City Mayor Runs Restaurants.


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#604 Zharkov

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 12:20 AM

Freedom?

If You Haven't Paid Attention,

You Won't Notice Something Is Wrong


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#605 Zharkov

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 12:50 AM

You Won't Notice Something Is Wrong...

 

Notice Something Is Wrong...

 

Something Is Wrong...


Edited by Zharkov, 17 January 2017 - 12:51 AM.

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#606 Zharkov

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 04:40 PM

(Russia Didn't Do This - The US Government Did.)

 

“When did the future switch from being a promise to being a threat?”

 

By John Whitehead, the Rutherford Institute.

    “When did the future switch from being a promise to being a threat?” ― Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

Despite our best efforts, we in the American police state seem to be stuck on repeat, reliving the same set of circumstances over and over and over again: egregious surveillance, strip searches, police shootings of unarmed citizens, government spying, censorship, retaliatory arrests, the criminalization of lawful activities, warmongering, indefinite detentions, SWAT team raids, asset forfeiture, etc.

Unfortunately, as a nation we’ve become so desensitized to the government’s acts of violence, so accustomed to reports of government corruption, and so anesthetized to the sights and sounds of Corporate America marching in lockstep with the police state that few seem to pay heed to the warning signs blaring out the message: Danger Ahead.

Remember, the Titanic received at least four warnings from other ships about the presence of icebergs in its path, with the last warning issued an hour before disaster struck. All four warnings were ignored.

Like the Titanic, we’re plowing full steam ahead into a future riddled with hidden and not-so-hidden dangers. We too have been given ample warnings, only to have them drowned out by a carefully choreographed cacophony of political noise, cultural distractions and entertainment news—what the Romans termed “bread and circuses”—aimed at keeping the American people polarized, pacified and easily manipulated.

However, there is still danger ahead. The peril to our republic remains the same.

As long as a permanent, unelected bureaucracy—a.k.a. the shadow government— continues to call the shots in the halls of power and the reach of the police state continues to expand, the crisis has not been averted.

Here’s a glimpse of some of the nefarious government programs we’ll be encountering on our journey through the treacherous waters of 2017.

Mandatory quarantines without due process or informed consent:

Under a new rule proposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, government agents will be empowered to indefinitely detain any traveler they suspect of posing a medical risk to others without providing an explanation, subject them to medical tests without their consent, and carry out such detentions and quarantines without any kind of due process or judicial review.

Mental health assessments by non-medical personnel:

As a result of a nationwide push to train a broad spectrum of so-called gatekeepers such as pastors, teachers, hair stylists, bartenders, police officers and EMTs in mental health first-aid training, more Americans are going to run the risk of being reported by non-medical personnel and detained for having mental health issues.

Tracking chips for citizens:

Momentum is building for the government to be able to track citizens, whether through the use of RFID chips embedded in a national ID card or through microscopic chips embedded in one’s skin. In December 2016, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved legislation allowing police to track individuals suffering from some form of mental disability such as Alzheimer’s or autism by way of implanted chips.

Military training to deal with dissent in megacities:

The future, according to a Pentagon training video, will be militaristic, dystopian and far from friendly to freedom. Indeed, if this government propaganda-piece that is being used to train special forces is to be believed, the only thing that can save the world from outright anarchy—in the eyes of the government, at least—is the military working in conjunction with local police. The video confirms what I’ve been warning about for so long: in the eyes of the U.S. government and its henchmen, the battlefield of the future is the American home front.

Government censorship of anything it classifies as disinformation:

This year’s National Defense Authorization Act, which allocates $619 billion for war and military spending, not only allows the military to indefinitely detain American citizens by placing them beyond the reach of the Constitution, but it also directs the State Department to establish a national anti-propaganda center to “counter disinformation and propaganda.” Translation: the government plans to crack down on anyone attempting to exercise their First Amendment rights by exposing government wrongdoing, while persisting in peddling its own brand of fake news.

Threat assessments:

Government agents—with the help of automated eyes and ears, a growing arsenal of high-tech software, hardware and techniques, government propaganda urging Americans to turn into spies and snitches, as well as social media and behavior sensing software—are spinning a sticky spider-web of threat assessments, behavioral sensing warnings, flagged “words,” and “suspicious” activity reports aimed at snaring potential enemies of the state. It’s the American police state rolled up into one oppressive pre-crime and pre-thought crime package.

War on cash:

The government and its corporate partners are engaged in a concerted campaign to do away with large bills such as $20s, $50s, $100s and shift consumers towards a digital mode of commerce that can easily be monitored, tracked, tabulated, mined for data, hacked, hijacked and confiscated when convenient. As economist Steve Forbes concludes, “The real reason for this war on cash—start with the big bills and then work your way down—is an ugly power grab by Big Government. People will have less privacy: Electronic commerce makes it easier for Big Brother to see what we’re doing, thereby making it simpler to bar activities it doesn’t like, such as purchasing salt, sugar, big bottles of soda and Big Macs.”

Expansive surveillance:

Whether you’re walking through a store, driving your car, checking email, or talking to friends and family on the phone, you can be sure that some government agency, whether the NSA or some other entity, will still be listening in and tracking your behavior. This doesn’t even begin to touch on the corporate trackers who work with the government to monitor your purchases, web browsing, Facebook posts and other activities taking place in the cyber sphere. In such an environment, we are all suspects to be spied on, searched, scanned, frisked, monitored, tracked and treated as if we’re potentially guilty of some wrongdoing or other.

Militarized police:

Americans are finding their once-peaceful communities transformed into military outposts, complete with tanks, weaponry, and other equipment designed for the battlefield. Now, the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department and the FBI are preparing to turn the nation’s police officers into techno-warriors, complete with iris scanners, body scanners, thermal imaging Doppler radar devices, facial recognition programs, license plate readers, cell phone extraction software, Stingray devices and so much more.

Police shootings of unarmed citizens:

Owing in large part to the militarization of local law enforcement agencies, not a week goes by without more reports of hair-raising incidents by police imbued with a take-no-prisoners attitude and a battlefield approach to the communities in which they serve. Indeed, as a special report by The Washington Post reveals, despite heightened awareness of police misconduct, the number of fatal shootings by officers in 2016 remained virtually unchanged from the year before.

False flags and terrorist attacks:

Despite the government’s endless propaganda about the threat of terrorism, statistics show that you are 17,600 times more likely to die from heart disease than from a terrorist attack. You are 11,000 times more likely to die from an airplane accident than from a terrorist plot involving an airplane. You are 1,048 times more likely to die from a car accident than a terrorist attack. You are 404 times more likely to die in a fall than from a terrorist attack. And you are 8 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist.

Endless wars to keep America’s military’s empire employed:

The military industrial complex that has advocated that the U.S. remain at war, year after year, is the very entity that will continue to profit the most from America’s expanding military empire. The U.S. Department of Defense is the world’s largest employer, with more than 3.2 million employees. Thus far, the U.S. taxpayer has been made to shell out more than $1.6 trillion to wage wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. When you add in military efforts in Pakistan, as well as the lifetime price of health care for disabled veterans and interest on the national debt, that cost rises to $4.4 trillion.

Attempts by the government to identify, target and punish so-called domestic “extremists”:

The government’s anti-extremism program will, in many cases, be utilized to render otherwise lawful, nonviolent activities as potentially extremist. To this end, police will identify, monitor and deter individuals who exhibit, express or engage in anything that could be construed as extremist before they can become actual threats. This is pre-crime on an ideological scale.

SWAT team raids:

More than 80% of American communities have their own SWAT teams, with more than 80,000 of these paramilitary raids are carried out every year. That translates to more than 200 SWAT team raids every day in which police crash through doors, damage private property, kill citizens, terrorize adults and children alike, kill family pets, assault or shoot anyone that is perceived as threatening—and most often in the pursuit of someone merely suspected of a crime, usually some small amount of drugs.

Erosions of private property:

Private property means little at a time when SWAT teams and other government agents can invade your home, break down your doors, kill your dog, wound or kill you, damage your furnishings and terrorize your family. Likewise, if government officials can fine and arrest you for growing vegetables in your front yard, praying with friends in your living room, installing solar panels on your roof, and raising chickens in your backyard, you’re no longer the owner of your property.

Overcriminalization:

The government’s tendency towards militarization and overcriminalization, in which routine, everyday behaviors become targets of regulation and prohibition, has resulted in Americans getting arrested for making and selling unpasteurized goat cheese, cultivating certain types of orchids, feeding a whale, holding Bible studies in their homes, and picking their kids up from school.

Strip searches and the denigration of bodily integrity:

Court rulings undermining the Fourth Amendment and justifying invasive strip searches have left us powerless against police empowered to forcefully draw our blood, forcibly take our DNA, strip search us, and probe us intimately. Accounts are on the rise of individuals—men and women alike—being subjected to what is essentially government-sanctioned rape by police in the course of “routine” traffic stops.

Drones:

As corporations and government agencies alike prepare for their part in the coming drone invasion—it is expected that at least 30,000 drones will occupy U.S. airspace by 2020, ushering in a $30 billion per year industry—it won’t be long before American citizens find themselves to be the target of these devices. Drones—unmanned aerial vehicles—will come in all shapes and sizes, from nano-sized drones as small as a grain of sand that can do everything from conducting surveillance to detonating explosive charges, to middle-sized copter drones that can deliver pizzas to massive “hunter/killer” Predator warships that unleash firepower from on high.

Prisons:

America’s prisons, housing the largest number of inmates in the world and still growing, have become money-making enterprises for private corporations that manage the prisons in exchange for the states agreeing to maintain a 90% occupancy rate for at least 20 years. And how do you keep the prisons full? By passing laws aimed at increasing the prison population, including the imposition of life sentences on people who commit minor or nonviolent crimes such as siphoning gasoline.

Censorship:

First Amendment activities are being pummeled, punched, kicked, choked, chained and generally gagged all across the country. Free speech zones, bubble zones, trespass zones, anti-bullying legislation, zero tolerance policies, hate crime laws and a host of other legalistic maladies dreamed up by politicians and prosecutors have conspired to corrode our core freedoms. The reasons for such censorship vary widely from political correctness, safety concerns and bullying to national security and hate crimes but the end result remains the same: the complete eradication of what Benjamin Franklin referred to as the “principal pillar of a free government.”

Fascism:

As a Princeton University survey indicates, our elected officials, especially those in the nation’s capital, represent the interests of the rich and powerful rather than the average citizen. We are no longer a representative republic. With Big Business and Big Government having fused into a corporate state, the president and his state counterparts—the governors—have become little more than CEOs of the Corporate State, which day by day is assuming more government control over our lives. Never before have average Americans had so little say in the workings of their government and even less access to their so-called representatives.

James Madison, the father of the Constitution, put it best when he warned:

“Take alarm at the first experiment with liberties.”

Anyone with even a casual knowledge about current events knows that the first experiment on our freedoms happened long ago.

We are fast moving past the point of no return when it comes to restoring our freedoms.

Worse, as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we can barely see the old America with its revolutionary principles and value for independence in the rear view mirror. The only reality emerging generations will know is the one constructed for them by the powers-that-be, and you can rest assured that it will not be a reality that favors individuality, liberty or anything or anyone who challenges the status quo.

As a senior advisor to George W. Bush observed, “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

In other words, the government has been operating ten steps ahead for quite some time now, and we have yet to catch up, let alone catch our breath as the tides of change swirl around us.

You’d better tighten your seatbelts, folks, because we could be in for a rough ride in 2017.

 


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#607 Zharkov

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 04:48 PM

Do you REALLY want to know why Hillary Clinton lost the election?

It wasn't because of anything Russia said or did.

Re-read the post immediately above this one.

THAT is why Clinton lost and Trump won.

Bill Clinton (the impeached), George W. Bush (who should have been impeached), and Barrack Obama, (or whatever his real name is) did this to us, not Russia.

Americans want our country back.

And it doesn't look like that will happen.


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#608 Zharkov

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 04:35 PM

Trump's New America:

 

jfz_01.jpg


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#609 Zharkov

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 04:39 PM

jfz_05.jpg

 

(Unless you want more money to remain working in the t.v. series.)


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#610 Zharkov

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Posted 26 January 2017 - 03:42 AM

The Inauguration

While it was nauseating hearing one talking head after another talk about how the government’s obscene ceremony is a sacred demonstration celebrating the holiness of democracy, witnessing the new President insult the political establishment at their own party was almost worth the event’s $100 million price tag.

Trump's speech far exceeded all expectations. Should civilizations fortunes be favorable, we will see these five sentences are carved in marble:

    "For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have born the cost….The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories. Their triumphs have not been your triumphs and, while they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land. That all changes starting right here and right now because this moment is your moment."

    While the talk would devolve later into some of Trump’s more unsavory views on trade, the idea of “transferring power from Washington DC and giving it back to you, the people” is something every libertarian should cheer.

I was not surprised to later learn that Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller wrote the script, as every word of it was saturated in the conservative populism Bannon has championed. This continues to be a welcomed phenomenon. While Bannon is not a libertarian, his world view – as he articulated during a speech at the Vatican in 2014 – is a refreshing break from the various shades of progressivism that have dominated both political parties for far too long. Trump’s administrative structuring will have Bannon and Reince Priebus competing for the agenda, so I hope we can view the fact his first words as President came from Bannon’s pen as a sign of who has the early upper hand for.

Of course, it is easy to have grand aspirations, but it’s quite another to be able to put them into practice. Can Trump get his agenda through Washington? While it’s true that gridlock is almost always preferable to anything actually getting done in the beltway, it’s not particularly entertaining.

Luckily CNBC decided to run a marathon of Celebrity Apprentice episodes in honor of the inauguration. The show was always a great guilty pleasure of mine, a delightful exhibition in what makes reality television both so ridiculous and captivating.

While Trump’s original Apprentice, which involved aspiring MBAs competing against each other, was far more interesting in terms of seeing what Trump looked for in professionals, I think the Celebrity edition offers a particularly unique insight into how Trump can manage Washington. After all, the show required Trump having to manage the delicate egos of “celebrities” (who were often delusional in their significance) while deciding who cut gets, without losing sight of his main goal (to generate ratings).

This is exactly the sort of skill set that will serve him well in dealing with politicians.

While there will be much Trump will be able to do on his own, unless the legislative branch decides to actively reign in the presidency – which would be a great victory in itself – he is going to need allies to advance some of his greater objectives. Anyone who doubts Trump’s art of the deal will carry over to DC hasn’t seen the man handle a board room with Piers Morgan, Gene Simmons, and Omarosa.

Of course, it’s very possible – if not likely – that rather than Trump applying his unique skill set to push through a Bannon-ite populist agenda through Washington, he will end up continuing the traditions of presidents past: lie to the public, bankrupt the country, and kill people across the world.

While I hope that a failure for Trump to live up to his promises will finally get average, working class voters to abandon the idea of political saviors, the past leaves me skeptical. Luckily, social media is allowing us to watch the left to devolve into the repulsive, uncivilized, freak show its ideology always leads to in real-time.

The scenes from the protests on inauguration day, where grown children waving anarco-communist flags burned cars, broke windows, and violently attacked political enemies is a vulgar, but honest, illustration of the far left today. While the Women’s March the following day was by all reports more peaceful (and ideologically diverse), the displays captured by Jim Bovard and others show how much of today’s radical left can’t help but let their freak flag show – even among respectable company.

Though CNN and others in the media did a great job of portraying the event as a “grassroots” demonstration of serious individuals, they will have a hard time keeping up this façade as these Soros-funded organizations continue their protests over the next several years.

Bottom line, should nothing in government or the general perception of it change post-Trump, the left’s own behavior is likely to not only alienate the very Democratic working class voters that gave Trump the White House, but will test the loyalty of the Hispanic and black communities who were always against even moderate progressive causes such as gay marriage. To that extent, as was the case throughout most of the campaign, the most promising part of the Trump Administration may be its enemies rather own virtues.

While there’s no reason to think country wide demonstrations will make these communities line up peacefully behind the GOP, hopefully we will continue to witness a fracturing of the dependable Democratic coalition, undercutting the political power of the radical progressive agenda. After all, Hillary may have been able to win the popular vote in November, but there is a much small constituency for those who proudly cheer on riots, violence, and genitalia-themed headgear.

The result of all this? Who knows!

Only one thing is certain: it won’t be boring.


https://www.lewrockw...op/wont-boring/


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#611 Zharkov

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Posted 29 January 2017 - 10:45 PM


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#612 Zharkov

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 02:21 PM

Why Hollywood as We Know It Is Already Over
With theater attendance at a two-decade low and profits dwindling, the kind of disruption that hit music, publishing, and other industries is already reshaping the entertainment business.

I. The Raindrop Moment

A few months ago, the vision of Hollywood’s economic future came into terrifyingly full and rare clarity. I was standing on the set of a relatively small production, in Burbank, just north of Los Angeles, talking to a screenwriter about how inefficient the film-and-TV business appeared to have become. Before us, after all, stood some 200 members of the crew, who were milling about in various capacities, checking on lighting or setting up tents, but mainly futzing with their smartphones, passing time, or nibbling on snacks from the craft-service tents. When I commented to the screenwriter that such a scene might give a Silicon Valley venture capitalist a stroke on account of the apparent unused labor and excessive cost involved in staging such a production—which itself was statistically uncertain of success—he merely laughed and rolled his eyes. “You have no idea,” he told me.

After a brief pause, he relayed a recent anecdote, from the set of a network show, that was even more terrifying: The production was shooting a scene in the foyer of a law firm, which the lead rushed into from the rain to utter some line that this screenwriter had composed. After an early take, the director yelled “Cut,” and this screenwriter, as is customary, ambled off to the side with the actor to offer a comment on his delivery. As they stood there chatting, the screenwriter noticed that a tiny droplet of rain remained on the actor’s shoulder. Politely, as they spoke, he brushed it off. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, an employee from the production’s wardrobe department rushed over to berate him. “That is not your job,” she scolded. “That is my job.”

The screenwriter was stunned. But he had also worked in Hollywood long enough to understand what she was really saying: quite literally, wiping rain off an actor’s wardrobe was her job—a job that was well paid and protected by a union. And as with the other couple of hundred people on set, only she could perform it.

This raindrop moment, and the countless similar incidents that I’ve observed on sets or heard about from people I’ve met in the industry, may seem harmless and ridiculous enough on its face. But it reinforces an eventuality that seems both increasingly obvious and uncomfortable—one that might occur to you every time you stream Fringe or watch a former ingénue try to re-invent herself as a social-media icon or athleisure-wear founder: Hollywood, as we once knew it, is over.

In the mid-90s, the first time I downloaded an MP3, I realized that the music industry was in grave trouble. People who were my age (I wasn’t old enough to legally drink yet) didn’t want to spend $20 on a whole compact disc when all we coveted was a single song on the album. Moreover, we wanted our music immediately: we preferred to download it (illegally) from Napster or eventually (legally) from iTunes without the hassle of finding the nearest Sam Goody. It turned out that this proclivity for efficiency—customizing your music and facilitating the point of sale—was far from a generational instinct. It explains why the music industry is roughly half the size it was one decade ago.

These preferences weren’t confined to music, either. I also felt the raindrop moment firsthand when I began working at The New York Times, in the early 2000s. Back then, the newspaper’s Web site was treated like a vagrant, banished to a separate building blocks away from the paper’s newsroom on West 43rd Street. Up-and-coming blogs—Gizmodo, Instapundit, and Daily Kos, which were setting the stage for bigger and more advanced entities, such as Business Insider and BuzzFeed—were simultaneously springing up across the country. Yet they were largely ignored by the Times as well as by editors and publishers at other news outlets. More often than not, tech-related advances—including e-readers and free online blogging platforms, such as WordPress and Tumblr—were laughed at as drivel by the entire industry, just as Napster had been years earlier.

Of course, the same logic that had decimated music would undermine print publishing: readers didn’t want to travel to a newsstand to buy a whole newspaper when they were interested only in one story or two. And, in so many cases, they really didn’t care all that much whose byline was at the top of the piece. Subsequently, newspaper advertising revenues fell from $67 billion in 2000 to $19.9 billion in 2014. Meanwhile, the same pummeling occurred in the book-publishing world. Many consumers didn’t want hardcover books for $25 when digital versions were available for $9.99. An algorithm generally provided better suggestions than an actual in-store clerk. And consumers never had to leave home to get the book they wanted. Amazon, knowing this, eviscerated the business. While print sales have finally leveled out (largely through a reliance on science fiction and fantasy), the industry has seen sales fall precipitously over the past decade.

    “IN MY MIND, HOLLYWOOD IS DYING,” MIKE MORITZ TOLD ME.

Hollywood, these days, seems remarkably poised for a similar disruption. Its audiences increasingly prefer on-demand content, its labor is costly, and margins are shrinking. Yet when I ask people in Hollywood if they fear such a fate, their response is generally one of defiance. Film executives are smart and nimble, but many also assert that what they do is so specialized that it can’t be compared to the sea changes in other disrupted media. “We’re different,” one producer recently told me. “No one can do what we do.”

That response, it’s worth recalling, is what many editors and record producers once said. And the numbers reinforce the logic. Movie-theater attendance is down to a 19-year low, with revenues hovering slightly above $10 billion—or about what Amazon’s, Facebook’s, or Apple’s stock might move in a single day. DreamWorks Animation was sold to Comcast for a relatively meager $3.8 billion. Paramount was recently valued at about $10 billion, approximately the same price as when Sumner Redstone acquired it, more than 20 years ago, in a bidding war against Barry Diller. Between 2007 and 2011, overall profits for the big-five movie studios—Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, and Disney—fell by 40 percent. Studios now account for less than 10 percent of their parent companies’ profits. By 2020, according to some forecasts, that share will fall to around 5 percent. (Disney, partly owing to Star Wars and its other successful franchises, is likely to be a notable outlier.)

Show business, in many ways, has entered a vicious cycle set off by larger economic forces. Some 70 percent of box office comes from abroad, which means that studios must traffic in the sort of blow-’em-up action films and comic-book thrillers that translate easily enough to Mandarin. Or in reboots and sequels that rely on existing intellectual property. But even that formula has dried up. Chinese firms, including Dalian Wanda, are rabidly acquiring companies such as Legendary Entertainment, AMC, and Carmike Cinemas, a smaller theater chain, with an apparent goal of learning how Hollywood does what it does so China can do it better. As The Wall Street Journal reported last summer, more sequels bombed than did not. Fortune called it “a summer of big flops.” MGM’s Ben-Hur, which was produced by Mark Burnett, cost $100 million and yet grossed only $11 million in its opening weekend.

But the real threat isn’t China. It’s Silicon Valley. Hollywood, in its over-reliance on franchises, has ceded the vast majority of the more stimulating content to premium networks and over-the-top services such as HBO and Showtime, and, increasingly, digital-native platforms such as Netflix and Amazon. These companies also have access to analytics tools that Hollywood could never fathom, and an allergy to its inefficiency. Few have seen the change as closely as Diller himself, who went from running Paramount and Fox to building his own tech empire, IAC. “I don’t know why anyone would want a movie company today,” Diller said at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit in October. “They don’t make movies; they make hats and whistles.” (Half of the people in the audience, likely representing the tech industry, laughed at this quip; the other half, from Hollywood, cringed.) When I spoke to Mike Moritz, the iconic venture capitalist, backstage at the event, he noted that a nominal investment in a somewhat successful tech company could generate more money than Hollywood’s top-grossing movies. “In my mind,” he said, “Hollywood is dying.”
II. Here Comes Facebook

Part of the problem, it seems, is that Hollywood still views its interlopers from the north as rivals. In reality, though, Silicon Valley has already won. It’s just that Hollywood hasn’t quite figured it out yet.

When Netflix started creating its own content, in 2013, it shook the industry. The scariest part for entertainment executives wasn’t simply that Netflix was shooting and bankrolling TV and film projects, essentially rendering irrelevant the line between the two. (Indeed, what’s a movie without a theater? Or a show that comes available in a set of a dozen episodes?) The real threat was that Netflix was doing it all with the power of computing. Soon after House of Cards’ remarkable debut, the late David Carr presciently noted in the Times, “The spooky part . . . ? Executives at the company knew it would be a hit before anyone shouted ‘action.’ Big bets are now being informed by Big Data.”

Carr’s point underscores a larger, more significant trend. Netflix is competing not so much with the established Hollywood infrastructure as with its real nemeses: Facebook, Apple, Google (the parent company of YouTube), and others. There was a time not long ago when technology companies appeared to stay in their lanes, so to speak: Apple made computers; Google engineered search; Microsoft focused on office software. It was all genial enough that the C.E.O. of one tech giant could sit on the board of another, as Google’s Eric Schmidt did at Apple.

These days, however, all the major tech companies are competing viciously for the same thing: your attention. Four years after the debut of House of Cards, Netflix, which earned an astounding 54 Emmy nominations in 2016, is spending $6 billion a year on original content. Amazon isn’t far behind. Apple, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat are all experimenting with original content of their own. Microsoft owns one of the most profitable products in your living room, the Xbox, a gaming platform that is also a hub for TV, film, and social media. As The Hollywood Reporter noted this year, traditional TV executives are petrified that Netflix and its ilk will continue to pour money into original shows and films and continue to lap up the small puddle of creative talent in the industry. In July, at a meeting of the Television Critics Association in Beverly Hills, FX Networks’ president, John Landgraf, said, “I think it would be bad for storytellers in general if one company was able to seize a 40, 50, 60 percent share in storytelling.”

It would be wrong, however, to view this trend as an apocalypse. This is only the beginning of the disruption.

So far, Netflix has merely managed to get DVDs to people more quickly (via streaming), disrupt the business plan of the traditional once-a-week, ad-supported television show, and help solidify the verb “binge” in today’s culture. The laborious and inefficient way shows and films are still made has not been significantly altered. That set I visited in Los Angeles with its 200 workers wasn’t for an NBC or FX show; it was actually a production for a streaming service. The same waste and bloated budgets exist across the entire industry. To put the atrophy into perspective, a single episode of a typically modest television show can cost $3 million to shoot and produce. By comparison, a typical start-up in Silicon Valley will raise that much to run a team of engineers and servers for two years.

But all those TV workers feel as if they are in safe harbor, given that the production side of a project is protected by the unions—there’s the P.G.A., D.G.A., W.G.A., SAG-AFTRA, M.P.E.G., and I.C.G., to name just a few. These unions, however, are actually unlikely to pose a significant, or lasting, protection. Newspaper guilds have been steadily vanquished in the past decade. They may have prevented people from losing jobs immediately, but in the end they have been complicit in big buyouts that have shrunk the newspaper industry’s workforce by 56 percent since 2000. Moreover, start-ups see entrenched government regulation, and inert unions, not so much as impediments but as one more thing to disrupt. Uber and Lyft have largely dominated unions and regulators as they have spread around the world. Unions did not impede Airbnb from growing across American cities. (The company has 2.3 million listings in 34,000 cities.) Google, Facebook, ad-tech giants, and countless others have all but stampeded demands for increased privacy online from groups such as the A.C.L.U. And that’s just to cite the most obvious examples. In the 1950s, the movies were the third-largest retail business in the U.S., surpassed only by grocery stores and car dealerships. Look what Silicon Valley has already done to the other two sectors.

At the heart of the disruption is the most profound element of Hollywood: the theater. Just as customers now generally eschew albums for singles (or streaming services such as Spotify), and hardcovers for more economical e-books, we will eventually stop going to the movies, which are already expensive, limiting, and inconvenient. Instead the movies will come to us. If the industry continues the process of “windowing” (in which studios wait weeks, or sometimes months, to release a film that has already been in the theaters onto other platforms), people will continue to steal a movie they want to see, or they’ll simply stop watching them altogether. (In 2015, the top films in theaters were illegally downloaded more than half a billion times.) Meanwhile, consumers will continue to opt for other forms of entertainment, such as YouTube, Netflix, and video games, or turn to Instagram or Facebook.

And it’s only a matter of time—perhaps a couple of years—before movies will be streamed on social-media sites. For Facebook, it’s the natural evolution. The company, which has a staggering 1.8 billion monthly active users, literally a quarter of the planet, is eventually going to run out of new people it can add to the service. Perhaps the best way to continue to entice Wall Street investors to buoy the stock—Facebook is currently the world’s seventh-largest company by market valuation—will be to keep eyeballs glued to the platform for longer periods of time. What better way to do that than a two-hour film?

This might begin with Facebook’s V.R. experience. You slip on a pair of Oculus Rift glasses and sit in a virtual movie theater with your friends, who are gathered from all around the world. Facebook could even plop an advertisement next to the film, rather than make users pay for it. When I asked an executive at the company why it has not happened yet, I was told, “Eventually it will.”
III. A.I. Aaron Sorkin

The speed with which technologies can change an industry today is truly staggering. Uber, which is eight years old, is worth more than 80 percent of the companies on the Fortune 500 list. When Silicon Valley goes after a new industry, it does so with a punch to the gut.

Hollywood executives may invoke their unique skills, but engineers are unlikely to see things quite that way. We generally assume that artificial intelligence poses a risk to lower-skilled jobs, such as trucking or driving cabs. But the reality is that the creative class will not be unharmed by software and artificial intelligence. Researchers at M.I.T.’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory are looking at ways to teach computers how to corral information so as to perceive occurrences before they even happen. At present, this application anticipates events that will move markets, or monitors security cameras to help emergency responders before something tragic occurs.

But there are other applications for these kinds of technologies, too. If you could give a computer all the best scripts ever written, it would eventually be able to write one that might come close to replicating an Aaron Sorkin screenplay. In such a scenario, it’s unlikely that an algorithm would be able to write the next Social Network, but the end result would likely compete with the mediocre, and even quite good, fare that still populates many screens each holiday season. The form of automation would certainly have a massive impact on editors, who laboriously slice and dice hundreds of hours of footage to create the best “cut” of a film or TV show. What if A.I. could do that by analyzing hundreds of thousands of hours of award-winning footage? An A.I. bot could create 50 different cuts of a film and stream them to consumers, analyzing where viewers grow bored or excited, and change the edits in real time, almost like A/B testing two versions of a Web page to see which one performs better.

Actors, in many ways, have been disrupted for years—from the reliance on costumed superheroes to the rise of C.G.I. filmmaking. Many agents whom I’ve spoken with already seem to know this and have moved their portfolios away from Hollywood to include, among others, clients from professional sports. There is a reason we see so many once promising actors, from Jessica Alba to Kate Hudson to Jessica Biel to the Mowry sisters, looking to re-invent themselves in new careers during their 30s and 40s, once their prime. The future augurs less of a need for actors other than, despite Donald Trump’s objections, the Meryl Streeps of the world.

Kim Libreri, who spent years in the film industry working on special effects for films such as The Matrix and Star Wars, predicts that by 2022 graphics will be so advanced that they will be “indistinguishable from reality.” In some respects, that is already on the verge of happening. If you watched Rogue One, you will have noticed that Peter Cushing appeared as one of the main actors in the film, which was shot last year in London. Cushing, who died in 1994, was (mostly) rendered in C.G.I. The same was true for Princess Leia, played by the late Carrie Fisher, who has a cameo at the end. The C.G.I.-enhanced version of herself hasn’t aged a day since 1977. “While stars used to be able to make a movie, now they can hurt it,” one Hollywood producer lamented to me. His outlook resembled Moritz’s: “The movie star, like everything else in Hollywood, is dying.”
 

IV. The Audience Wins

In all of these instances of technological disruption—A.I., C.G.I. actors, algorithmic editors, etc.—there will be the exceptions. Like everything else involving money and creativity, there will indeed be a top category—those who have great, new, innovative ideas, and who stand above everyone else—that is truly irreplaceable. (Indeed, this has proved to be the case in music, journalism, and publishing.) There will be great screenwriters and even great actors. The real winners, however, are the consumers. We won’t have to pay $50 to go to the movies on a date night, and we’ll be able to watch what we want to watch, when we want, and, most important, where we want.

And while Hollywood could take control of its fate, it’s very difficult for mature businesses—ones that have operated in similar ways for decades and where the top players have entrenched interests—to embrace change from within. Instead, one can imagine the future looking something like this: You come home (in a driverless car) and say aloud to Alexa or Siri or some A.I. assistant that doesn’t exist yet, “I want to watch a comedy with two female actors as the leads.” Alexa responds, “O.K., but you have to be at dinner at eight P.M. Should I make the movie one hour long?” “Sure, that sounds good.” Then you’ll sit down to watch on a television that resembles digital wallpaper. (Samsung is currently working on flexible displays that will roll up like paper and could encompass an entire room.) And you might, through the glory of A.I., be able to watch with your spouse, who is halfway around the world on a business trip.

There are other, more dystopian theories, which predict that film and video games will merge, and we will become actors in a movie, reading lines or being told to “look out!” as an exploding car comes hurtling in our direction, not too dissimilar from Mildred Montag’s evening rituals in Fahrenheit 451. When we finally get there, you can be sure of two things. The bad news is that many of the people on the set of a standard Hollywood production won’t have a job anymore. The good news, however, is that we’ll never be bored again.

http://www.vanityfai...is-already-over

 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

The really bad news is that they will have tested and perfected so many ways to lock in our attention, that reality will become boring and we will withdraw from reality.    As with the movie, "The Matrix", we will want to remain hooked up to the entertainment module forever.    We will want illusion, painless illusion, rather than suffer reality.    Yet some will break free of illusion and demand reality, waking up others to the trap they are in.    Some will escape, some will be free.


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#613 Zharkov

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 02:37 PM

Sony Corp. said it will take a 112 billion yen ($1 billion) writedown in its movie business after reviewing the future profitability of its operations.

The company said it would book the charge in the fiscal third quarter and is examining how that will affect its forecasts. To offset part of the loss, the company also said it would sell shares in the medical web service M3 Inc. to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s Japan unit, in a deal worth about 37 billion yen.


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#614 Zharkov

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 01:50 AM

Soviet American reality...Our Real History


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#615 Zharkov

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 01:54 AM

"Synagog of Satan" is a terrific documentary covering world history up to 2006, showing how everything we thought we knew was only what we were allowed to know and most of that was wrong.    This documentary is considered very dangerous by the Israeli government, not because it is anti-jewish but because it is factual, real, and presents well-documented crimes of the jewish elite - from the middle ages to 2006.    5 hours of mind-blowing facts that our history books never mentioned.

 

Unfortunately the documentary was taken down from youtube.com almost as fast as it is reposted, so that most of the links are now zero byte links that cannot be viewed, or are cut off part way through the documentary.    On repeated attempts at download, the documentary is ended abruptly before it is over, but if you can get the whole thing downloaded, it will be well worth viewing.    The truth must really hurt because they are so diligent in preventing us from seeing the truth.    Yet people will repost the documentary over and over again, because it is so important to know that most of our history has been a fairy tale concocted to pacify us.   

 

The reality is shocking.  

Credible yet incredible - a history we never were told about.  

Our secret history.

The history they don't want you to know.

"Synagog of Satan" 

Look for it.  

You need to see it.

You need to know why things happened as they did.

Why the world is so messed up and in trouble today.

Why it doesn't get any better.

And why it is so difficult to fix these problems.

 


Edited by Zharkov, 06 February 2017 - 02:10 AM.

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#616 Zharkov

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Posted 11 February 2017 - 03:02 PM

Have you noticed the wars?    

The US wealthy elite-run government has perfected the technique of fighting wars without winning.

Fighting without winning?     How do they do that?

It takes a laser-like focus on things that don't matter to Americans, for example, who runs the Ukraine, Syria, or Iraq, or any other country they don't own.

Then they knock over the leader of that country, throw the population into civil war, and pick a side to "help".

Then they stand back and let the killing go on, indefinitely, without any particular goal other than to own the country eventually.   

What was America's first venture into Africa?   It was AFRICOM, a military enterprise.   Is Africa next on the list?

Who needs AFRICOM?    Certainly not any American workers already being displaced and unemployed by vast waves of immigrants from South America, Mexico, and the Middle East.    They don't care about AFRICOM and neither should the US government care.    Africa isn't a US problem.    

If we get out of Africa, it may never become a US problem.
 


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#617 Zharkov

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 04:44 PM

“In America today... it seems, more and more, doing the right thing has consequences while doing the wrong thing doesn’t.”
http://www.wnd.com/2...t_orig=politics


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#618 Zharkov

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 04:06 PM

Do Not Tolerate A Cashless Society!

 

(Your pocket money is your freedom.)

 

Big Brother is watching you: Jim Rogers prophesizes death of cash & total govt control of spending

The time will come when you won't be able to buy a cup of coffee without being traced, warns investment guru Jim Rogers. To control people, governments will increasingly seek to hunt down cash spending, he adds.

World seeing ‘greatest monetary policy experiment in history’ - Rothschild

“Governments are always looking out for themselves first, and it's the same old thing that has been going on for hundreds of years. The Indians recently did the same thing. They withdrew 86 percent of the currency in circulation, and they have now made it illegal to spend more than, I think it's about $4,000 in any cash transaction. In France you cannot use more than, I think it's a €1,000,”said Rogers in an interview with MacroVoices Podcast.

“Many countries are already doing this. Some states in the US you cannot make cash transactions above a certain amount. Governments love it. Then they can control you. If you want to go and buy a cup of coffee, they know how many you drink, where you buy them, etc., if they can all put it into electronic formats and they will. The world is all going electronic,” the investor said.

According to Rogers, governments will claim they are doing it for the public good, not for themselves.

“When it's done, the governments are going to be very, very happy they are going to say they're doing it for our own good, this is not them, this is for our good. That they're doing this, but it’s coming, and it's going to be a whole different world in which we live. Probably we are not going to have as many freedoms as we have now even though we are already losing our freedoms at a significant pace,” Rodgers told the radio.

This month, the European Commission proposed a bill targeting cash payments.

"Payments in cash are widely used in the financing of terrorist activities…(So you all have to lose your freedom so the government can track you?)   In this context, the relevance of potential upper limits to cash payments could also be explored. Several Member States have in place prohibitions for cash payments above a specific threshold," said the Action Plan.    (Terrorism is expensive?   How much does a bullet cost?)

Jim Rogers is an American businessman, investor, and financial commentator, currently based in Singapore. Rogers made his name in the 1970s after founding a top-performing fund with George Soros.


https://www.rt.com/b...y-control-cash/

 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The idiot Euro-commies want to enslave their own citizens by taking away their economic freedom and replacing it with a totally controlled economy in which all spending is measured, recorded, and analyzed for criminality.    That is the basis of a police state in which all citizens are prisoners of their government.    Is that the answer to terrorism?    I don't think so.

 

In a police state, government officers become the terrorists.    They have the guns, the bombs, the tanks, the fighter jets, the nuclear weapons to destroy their own citizens.    They have the navy to control sea travel, and the submarines to stop sea travel.    They control the earth.

 

Not people, but governments have all of that.    And if you are not with them, you are with the enemy, you are their enemy because you want freedom.   The government that governs least, governs best - no longer is in their minds.    They demand total obedience.   To obtain total obedience, total compliance, they have surveillance for total awareness, total domination.

 

It all starts with cash.    Take away the cash and they win.    Just look at India today.   A mess.

People are starving because of government incompetence in India.    They need to resist.

 

RESIST THE NEW WORLD ORDER!

 

Resist every move they make to eliminate cash.   Protest.   Fight them.    Reject compliance.

 

Disobey!


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#619 Zharkov

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 08:25 PM

“We the people” have become enemy #1.

 

Whereas Trump promised to drain the politically corrupt swamps of Washington DC of lobbyists and special interest groups, the U.S. military is plotting to drain the swamps of futuristic urban American cities of “noncombatants and engage the remaining adversaries in high intensity conflict within.”

And who are these noncombatants, a military term that refers to civilians who are not engaged in fighting?

They are, according to the Pentagon, “adversaries.”

They are “threats.”

They are the “enemy.”

They are people who don’t support the government, people who live in fast-growing urban communities, people who may be less well-off economically than the government and corporate elite, people who engage in protests, people who are unemployed, people who engage in crime (in keeping with the government’s fast-growing, overly broad definition of what constitutes a crime).

In other words, in the eyes of the U.S. military, noncombatants are American citizens a.k.a. domestic extremists a.k.a. enemy combatants who must be identified, targeted, detained, contained and, if necessary, eliminated.

Welcome to Battlefield America.

In the future imagined by the Pentagon, any walls and prisons that are built will be used to protect the societal elite—the haves—from the have-nots.

We are the have-nots.

Suddenly it all begins to make sense.

The events of recent years: the invasive surveillance, the extremism reports, the civil unrest, the protests, the shootings, the bombings, the military exercises and active shooter drills, the color-coded alerts and threat assessments, the fusion centers, the transformation of local police into extensions of the military, the distribution of military equipment and weapons to local police forces, the government databases containing the names of dissidents and potential troublemakers.

This is how you prepare a populace to accept a police state willingly, even gratefully.

You don’t scare them by making dramatic changes. Rather, you acclimate them slowly to their prison walls. Persuade the citizenry that their prison walls are merely intended to keep them safe and danger out.

Desensitize them to violence, acclimate them to a military presence in their communities and persuade them that there is nothing they can do to alter the seemingly hopeless trajectory of the nation.

Before long, no one will even notice the floundering economy, the blowback arising from military occupations abroad, the police shootings, the nation’s deteriorating infrastructure and all of the other mounting concerns.

It’s happening already.

The sight of police clad in body armor and gas masks, wielding semiautomatic rifles and escorting an armored vehicle through a crowded street, a scene likened to “a military patrol through a hostile city,” no longer causes alarm among the general populace.

Few seem to care about the government’s endless wars abroad that leave communities shattered, families devastated and our national security at greater risk of blowback. Indeed, there were no protests in the streets after U.S. military forces raided a compound in Yemen, killing “at least eight women and seven children, ages 3 to 13.”

Their tactics are working.

We’ve allowed ourselves to be acclimated to the occasional lockdown of government buildings, Jade Helm military drills in small towns so that special operations forces can get “realistic military training” in “hostile” territory, and  Live Active Shooter Drill training exercises, carried out at schools, in shopping malls, and on public transit, which can and do fool law enforcement officials, students, teachers and bystanders into thinking it’s a real crisis.

Still, you can’t say we weren’t warned.

Back in 2008, an Army War College report revealed that “widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security.” The 44-page report went on to warn that potential causes for such civil unrest could include another terrorist attack, “unforeseen economic collapse, loss of functioning political and legal order, purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency, pervasive public health emergencies, and catastrophic natural and human disasters.”

In 2009, reports by the Department of Homeland Security surfaced that labelled right-wing and left-wing activists and military veterans as extremists (a.k.a. terrorists) and called on the government to subject such targeted individuals to full-fledged pre-crime surveillance. Almost a decade later, after spending billions to fight terrorism, the DHS concluded that the greater threat is not ISIS but domestic right-wing extremism.

Meanwhile, the government has been amassing an arsenal of military weapons for use domestically and equipping and training their “troops” for war. Even government agencies with largely administrative functions such as the Food and Drug Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Smithsonian have been acquiring body armor, riot helmets and shields, cannon launchers and police firearms and ammunition. In fact, there are now at least 120,000 armed federal agents carrying such weapons who possess the power to arrest.

Rounding out this profit-driven campaign to turn American citizens into enemy combatants (and America into a battlefield) is a technology sector that has been colluding with the government to create a Big Brother that is all-knowing, all-seeing and inescapable. It’s not just the drones, fusion centers, license plate readers, stingray devices and the NSA that you have to worry about. You’re also being tracked by the black boxes in your cars, your cell phone, smart devices in your home, grocery loyalty cards, social media accounts, credit cards, streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon, and e-book reader accounts.

All of this has taken place right under our noses, funded with our taxpayer dollars and carried out in broad daylight without so much as a general outcry from the citizenry.

It’s astounding how convenient we’ve made it for the government to lock down the nation.

So what exactly is the government preparing for?

Mind you, by “government,” I’m not referring to the highly partisan, two-party bureaucracy of the Republicans and Democrats.

I’m referring to “government” with a capital “G,” the entrenched Deep State that is unaffected by elections, unaltered by populist movements, and has set itself beyond the reach of the law.

I’m referring to the corporatized, militarized, entrenched bureaucracy that is fully operational and staffed by unelected officials who are, in essence, running the country and calling the shots in Washington DC, no matter who sits in the White House.

This is the hidden face of a government that has no respect for the freedom of its citizenry.

What is the government preparing for? You tell me.

Better yet, take a look at the Pentagon’s training video.

It’s only five minutes long, but it says a lot about the government’s mindset, the way its views the citizenry, and the so-called “problems” that the military must be prepared to address in the near future.

 

Even more troubling, however, is what this military video doesn’t say about the Constitution, about the rights of the citizenry, and about the dangers of using the military to address political and social problems.

The future is here.

We’re already witnessing a breakdown of society on virtually every front.

By waging endless wars abroad, by bringing the instruments of war home, by transforming police into extensions of the military, by turning a free society into a suspect society, by treating American citizens like enemy combatants, by discouraging and criminalizing a free exchange of ideas, by making violence its calling card through SWAT team raids and militarized police, by fomenting division and strife among the citizenry, by acclimating the citizenry to the sights and sounds of war, and by generally making peaceful revolution all but impossible, the government has engineered an environment in which domestic violence has become almost inevitable.

Be warned: in the future envisioned by the military, we will not be viewed as Republicans or Democrats. Rather, “we the people” will be enemies of the state.

As I make clear in my book, Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we’re already enemies of the state.

For years, the government has been warning against the dangers of domestic terrorism, erecting surveillance systems to monitor its own citizens, creating classification systems to label any viewpoints that challenge the status quo as extremist, and training law enforcement agencies to equate anyone possessing anti-government views as a domestic terrorist. What the government failed to explain was that the domestic terrorists would be of the government’s own making, whether intentional or not.

“We the people” have become enemy #1.


http://www.blacklist.../38/38/Y/M.html


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#620 Zharkov

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 05:04 PM

If misery loves company, love is on the rise: Americans left and right are under so much stress it's now registering on the American Psychological Association's anxiety meter.

 

For 10 years, the APA has been running its "Stress in America" survey, usually finding that stress is caused by three primary factors—money, work, and the economy. Those factors clearly play a role in the current national mood. Younger Americans are worried about college debt, older ones about retirement, and everyone, it seems, about the economic prospects of the next generation. In the study,  respondents with incomes below $50,000 reported higher stress levels than those with higher incomes.


http://www.newsmax.c...2/16/id/773928/


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